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Senate Budget Markup

News/Business. (2013) Morning opening portion. New.

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Us 47, America 12, Johnson 12, Mr. Ryan 9, Madam 8, United States 7, Simpson Bowles 6, Ryan 5, Crapo 3, Citigroup 2, Bowles Simpson 2, Kaine 2, Wells Fargo 2, Stevan 2, Wyoming 2, Washington 2, Orion 1, Ellis 1, General Economy 1, Economy 1,
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  CSPAN    Senate Budget Markup    News/Business.  (2013)  
   Morning opening portion. New.  

    March 17, 2013
    1:00 - 3:34pm EDT  

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if i may on medicaid. yet been very clear but the fact that you will be giving flexibility by block granting medicaid to the states. you would also be cutting medicaid to seniors -- to states by $800 billion. there are a lot fewer dollars. what effect would it have on long-term care? most of the cost of stages in long-term care. ,ursing homes are home care what effect that would have not only on seniors, but on their children, the families who would have to make up the difference potentially, who will no longer have access under the flexible but block to our states. works the assumption here is that medicaid has a lot of .andates in it an
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the state's hands are really in what they can do. rader >>ovide glare ability to >> but that does not make up for all of those dollars. are you suggesting that the flexibility would he that they would no longer have to cover long-term care and nursing homes for seniors? >> that is up to this date. >> they would no longer be required to do that. it would be actually able to say we don't have the money. so you have 90 days of medicare coverage. >> the budget resolution does not actually write the legislation. pre-k's but we can make some assumptions. >> -- >> but we can make some assumptions. to get intoarting the very specific assumptions on how that would operate. we did not go down to that level of detail.
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we general thought was that try to enhance flexibility to the states, still provide do with the elderly population and inflation. >> it is awfully good to say that the states have folks ability because they can make choices. but it's the reality is that they can no longer cover the most frail and elderly -- pennsylvania has the highest percentage of seniors. it's growing. the population will need home care for long-term care services in nursing homes. medicaidto rely on and medicare for the first 90s days, it is your assumption that faith might well be able to say that we cannot afford it, government is not helping us here and i think it's important
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of us who are voting on this and the impact on the seniors in our state. we will reassess the committee. immediately after the congress -- the conference, we will look for a vote on the floor. after that, we will assume the market. -- the markup. >> the final committee vote on the gop budget proposal was 22 to 17 along party lines. the bill could come to the floor the house for a vote sometime this week. louisiana representative steve gillies, chairman of the republican study committee discusses the congressional debate over to ending and taxes,
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energy policy, and the committee's opposition to a carbon tax. newsmakers today at 6 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> on monday, the chair of the national republican committee will talk about the future of the republican party. he will release a plan called the growth and opportunity project. it's aimed at improving the electoral success of republican candidates. our live coverage ends on eight -- begins at eight ready -- .egins at 8:30 a.m. >> she spoke french inside the white house and gain the representation -- a reputation a reputat cleanly --
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ion for being queenly. we will include your questions and comments on facebook and twitter and by phone at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span three. -sapann c-span radio and cp .org. >> a new plan would raise taxes by almost one dollar trillion almost onede -- dollars -- $1 trillion over a decade. this portion of the markup is about two and a half hours.
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>> good morning. our committee will come to order. we have a busy day. i want to welcome all of our members to date two. i want to mention a few procedural things before we get started. we will start with some numbers eating -- some members being permitted to ask technical questions. to limitsk members those questions to technical. my staff is not here for a political debate. we will have an opportunity for that all next week. we will try to keep this questioning to mourn -- to no more than about an hour or less if possible so we can move to the consideration of amendments. my hope is that we can consider enough amendments this morning to allow us to have a group of votes right after the lunch. we will alternate sides for offering of amendments. i will be talking with senator sessions so he can keep me apprised of the orders that his
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members are finding and to keep the market moving. offeringhat senators amendment limit their remarks to three minutes, if any, and then we vote and limit to one minute for each. i touched on this yesterday. i want to remind members that we will be ensuring that they don't jeopardize the privilege status of the budget resolution. so keep that in mind. and a few other housekeeping items. while an amendment is being considered, members have a right to modify their amendment or to withdraw. task committee practice, i would ask members to reframe from offering senate amendments. and members wishing to be recorded must expressly state his or her intention. i know that members have very busy schedules today. theave a lot going on on
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floor. i understand the president is coming to speak to the republican caucus. so we will try to be as flexible as possible. we will work through tonight until we get this out of committee. i will work with senator sessions and our staff to coordinate time for vote. we will keep all members of staff apprised. with that, we will open it up to staff questioning. senator sessions, do you wish to be recognized? >> yes. i have a number of russians. our colleagues have declined to bring up a budget in the last several years. , butis a problematic thing it's part of the opportunity to have an open debate.
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it requires really tough choices. we need to understand where the chairman's mark is on the tough choices that face the country. and make sure that we are all in sync about what we can agree on that are the basic numbers facing our government financially. focusing on the war estimates that are in the budget, i want to get this clear. as i understand it, you assumed that we will spend on overseas contingency operations $75 ,illion over the next 10 years where coming president obama's budget submitted submitted last year, assumed we would spend $490 billion. we have not yet seen his budget this year. it was due february 4.
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we have not seen it, amazingly. but is that correct? >> yes, in the chairman's mark, we have a hundred billion. $25 billionar 13 -- in fy 15. beyond that, we have a reserve fund in place. as the president comes forward with a new policy coming forward and justifies more we can- more oco, justify more spending cuts here in >> but you don't budget for anymore. you budget zero for eight years. isn't that correct? >> yes. >> we disagree with that. we think the president's numbers are far more correct. i would suggest that that is about a $400 incorrect assumption in the budget, a $400
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billion incorrect assumption. with regard to the sequester, the sequester his current law. it limits and sets our spending limits. it can only be violated with a 60 vote point of order. designed to make sure we have a firm cap on spending. most of us understand the spending route we are on today is unsustainable. as i understand it, your budget would eliminate the sequester. thereby increasing spending by about 900 some odd billion dollars and with interest on that money that would be spent, because it would all have to be $9.1wed, it would be
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trillion in new spending. it replaces it with a balanced plan of both spending cuts. >> i am aware that that is the purpose, that that is what you would like to do. i want you -- a simple question, a simpleuer digest -- question, as our budget expert, the top of the budget control act agreement, it suspended level for current law, you just don't turn it off your you have to pass a law to eliminated. and if you do, it increases spending with interest over a trillion dollars. does it not? x you can say that about any of you. >> you canant --
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say that about any of these. >> i just want to get to the facts. it increases the baseline spending above what we projected, over a trillion dollars. yes or no? >> the sequester was set up to be a failsafe. it was always meant to be replaced. it was meant to backstop the work of the joint committee. -- that matter >> i would just remind us all that we are asking them technical questions. let's let them respond. >> i am just asking a simple question, a technical question here and i need a simple answer. not politics,rs not what you thought the sequester was or might be and was never intended to be. it was signed by the president of the united states. it was passed by the congress of the united states. and if you don't adhere to that,
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spending above the current baseline of over $1 trillion. yes or no? x true, but i would say that -- mr. would say also that ryan -- >> where do you get the race for $1 trillion in new spending? >> again, we lay out in the budget with their $975 billion in revenue as well as the cuts that remain to both defense and nondefense programs a path where we replaced the full amount of the 960 billion dollars. >> what other specific items in taxes and spending reductions elsewhere would replace the sequester? >> within the chairman's mark, onlay out, again, new caps
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nondefense discretionary and defense discretionary as well as cuts on the entitlement side to mandatory health and other mandatory that would be used to replace the current arbitrary cut system that we have. in the 975e included when dollars in spending -- the $975 billion in spending? >> yes. >> how can you use those as reducing the deficit and also replacing the increased spending in the sequester? isn't that double counting the money? rex we are using a current policy baseline, as is mr. ryan. here thinksk anyone the sequester will remain in effect as is. esther ryan doesn't think that. in fact, he and does all of the defense cuts and puts it all on the defense -- on the
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nondefense side. >> mr. ryan's budget is honest and it's paid for. you can look at it. , you being aidea technical person should be the first to understand this, that the law is not the law. we have a budget sequester now and, if it's eliminated, it raises $1.1 trillion. you have told the american people that you will reduce the deficit by $1.9 trillion. and i believe you are using the money twice. i believe your providing cuts that you are now telling me are used to pay down the sequester. isn't that correct? >> no, sir. , keepingd of the day consistent with simpson-bowles, we have 4.3 trillion dollars in savings. whether you start with your current policy baseline, we have added $700 billion to that or
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we add from the chairman's policy and we had 4.3, it really doesn't matter. >> let me ask the question again. so you have tax increases of $975 billion. you claim spending reductions of $975 billion during and you add those up and you produce -- you reduced the deficit by $1.9 trillion. does it reduce the deficit, your budget, as a whole, $1.9 trillion? >> with the jobs and investment package and the number in the chairman's package is one point $85 trillion. -- is $1.85 trillion. $1.1e you counting the trillion in added expenditure by the turning off the sequester? it's again, i think the
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important point -- >> not the important point here >> whether you want to start from your baseline where we are at $3.6 trillion and we have added a hundred billion dollars where you want to start at the chairman's baseline at $2.4 trillion where we get to the $2.3 trillion an. you represent the taxpayers of the united states. i am trying to represent them, too. i am asking a simple question. can you honestly say you can achieve $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction and eliminate the sequester with only 975 billion dollars in new taxes? know, but i mean, it gets again to the --
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>> senator sessions, if we could .et the staff answer questions let's let them answer questions. >> the answer is no. now explain. pre-k's i understand the baselines are complicated. but part of the reason the four dollars trillion is so important -- the four dollars trillion is so important, counting all the savings we have done, including in this package, we have $4.3 trillion. you are right. depending on the baseline you used to compare it to you get a different answer. using yours, you get $807 billion on top. using the chairwoman's, it's about 1.9 trillion dollars on top of the $2.4 trillion. you are right, the sequester is the difference. either way, those things happen and they should be counted. where you counted is less relevant as long as people understand that in the end we
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have done 4.3 -- 4.3 trillion dollars. >> i don't understand anything you said there. the budget you submitted and the chair said in the opening statement basically this. the senate budget therefore includes $1.85 trillion in total deficit reduction, $960 billion of which consists of a full and balanced replacement of the cuts from the sequestration. and you just told us that is not correct. >> that is correct. it is correct versus the baseline we are using, which is the same baseline that simpson bowles users, the same that the president uses, the same that the federal budget uses, the same one that everyone uses except tha esther ryan. that's ok. you just have to -- except mr. ryan. that's ok. you just have to understand it. >> only in the american process
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can we bankrupt this country when we cannot agree on $1.1 trillion. >> i think you will agree that that will likely be changed with the sequester lock. >> so you are taking a political that somehow this will be turned off and it will be changed and therefore you don't have to account for the increased spending of $1.1 trillion? >> we are accounting for everything in the end. and mr. ryan takes all the savings that would have been in defense and puts it all on the nondefense side. i've hundred billion dollars. that will also -- $500 billion. that will also change the sequester law. it is nonfunctional and will not stand for nine years. i think it is a very sensible adjustment to the baseline. >> senator sessions, we will go back and forth here. >> i don't think this matters close.
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i don't believe it's closed. i believe you are not counting -- it's a fact you are not counting the additional $1.1 trillion that increases spending when you change the sequester and come as a result, you can't use your new tax revenue and some other cuts to pay for it. if you use them, then you haven't reduced the deficit because you have raised the spending. senator, we are clear -- >> let me finish, sir. i don't believe it can be argued to the contrary. i am disappointed that you continue to persist in that argument. you can't flip flop a signs around here. all over the place. you claim, under your baseline, that you will eliminate the sequester, which would add $1.1
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trillion with interest in spending. and you are not counting that against your savings -- >> we are very clear on what we have done with our baseline. the backup is there. we are very clear that we plan to replace the sequester. mr. ryan's plan plans to replace the sequester. >> mr. ryan is not here. his budget is not before us. >> i think we will hear a lot about it, sir. >> i know that senator stamler has a question. i just want you to ask why this budget does not -- i just want you to expand why this at it doesn't look out the money. >> it doesn't. again, we are starting from a baseline that does pull it out and then we slowly replaced that could we replace it with a different mix of savings. you are correct that, relative
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to the baseline you are using, there is more spending because we are not doing 100 are sent of it out of spending as mr. ryan is doing it can we are doing it from discretionary spending and some from mandatory spending. that shouldn't be a surprise. it is not double counting anything. it's a policy choice that these members are making. and they are very clear on how they do it, that they are replacing the sequester. that should be part of the debate that all of you want to have here today. >> and our policy reduction comments to reduce -- to use for episode production? >> yes. >> from my own standpoint, if i am looking at this correctly, we are aiming for $4 trillion in deficit reduction. we have been told by many people that this will allow us to return -- to turn the corner on deficit reduction and support rowing the economy.
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of that -- support growing the economy. of that, we have already committed to 2.4 trillions -- to $2.4 trillion. , we have to find in some way $1.6 trillion less interest essentially. one way is the sequester. $1.2 trillion in sequester. that is one way. the chairwoman's budget does it a different way. we are sank him instead of using the sequester to get the $1.2 trillion because it does not reflect common sense, it's just arbitrary and across the board during instead of use -- across- the-board. instead of using the sequester,
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we use this budget which meets the $1.6 trillion with interest durin. in total, it's $1.85 trillion. is that correct? >> yes. if you look at where our target is to get to all the bipartisan andps and where sensible -- were simpson-bowles wanted us to is a path to get to 4.3 c and dollars -- $4.3 trillion to get to thesis mark. x one ways to do sequester. one ways to do it the way we are doing it, which is come instead of arbitrary across-the- board cuts, doing it in what we would view as a more balanced way. sequester and the other ways what we are doing. tank you.
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-- thank you. >> any other members? did you want to offer amendments? >> as leader of the agriculture committee, he asked me not to offer amendments. bill, ird to the farm would like to ask questions of the staff. by the samepending amount that the agriculture committee tried to save in the farm bill passed last year. that contained my proposal on reforming the payment limitation laws concerning commodity program payments. that is usually what we offered an amendment on. those that contribute to the
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savings in the farm bill. does your mark assume i payment limits reform would be included in the savings and the mandatory spending in the agricultural function? >> the chairman's mark does not necessarily get into that level of detail. theant to make sure that chairman and the ranking member can meet the goals to help our world communities and rural families. communitiesur rural and rural families. >> let me follow it up then. $23farm bill did say that billion -- however, the cf vo estimated that the farm bill would only reduce spending -- the cbo estimated that the farm
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bill would only reduce spending relative to the current baseline. so where does the chairwoman's current market assumed the spac spending savings will come from? the difference between $23 billion and $13 billion that be oh says we will not get. >> we are well aware of the scoring change from cbo. in this consultation with senator stevan as office -- senator stevan now -- senator e.abenow's offic it will have significant reductions. >> my last question on the subject, getting back to the $23 billion, it appears to me to come from commodity programs and crop insurance. is that accurate?
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if that is accurate, is there any savings in conservation and nutrition assumed by the chairwoman's mark? >> i have to get back to you on the specifics on how the $23 billion is broken down. i believe it is all in one function at this moment. >> could you tell us if there's any savings from -- i know there are save frgs farm programs or commondy programs and crop insurance. is there any save frgs crop nutrition -- savings from crop nutrition? >> i do not want to get into a debate with staff members. your questions -- i just want to make clear i don't want to get into a long debate. >> she and i have no differences. >> let me clarify because the senator has important questions. in asking him that we do our job in the agriculture committee rather than doing farm bill amendments here.
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i support his amendment and it is in our bill. my assumption is it will be nur n our bill. because of the way the budget resolution is written and the functions, we have the savings coming out of the general agriculture function but within the language, within the we lay out that we would have conservation, knew situation, -- all of the things we looked at. we will be doing this -- the'm interested in assumptions that the chairwoman has in her budget. >> it is in the language. it is in the language underneath the budget -- >> then you tell me if they don't tell me. is all the money coming from crop insurance and commondy
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programs or sum coming out of nutrition? >> we have the flex teeblet take it out wherever we want to. -- flexibility to take it out wherefore we want to. >> your mark, not seeing where these programs are coming from? >> that is correct. >> ok. i yield the floor. >> if you want to have a question -- a technical question let us know. we'll go to senator johnson, senator warner. >> thank you. i want to try to understand your $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction against some base line. i believe we're talking about the c.b.o. base line. that has been published. if you write a few numbers down
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here i would appreciate it. the chairman's mark is $46.4 in -- >> yes. >> c.b.o.'s base line is $32 trillion. trillion. let's figure out the difference. war spending. how much of the 46 is war spending? we have $75 billion and i thought you said $200 billion. how much more spending is in the chairman's mark? >> [talking over each other] >> we will rounded to $200 billion to keep it simple. the cbo baseline is $1 trillion. so we are going to have to
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adjust the baseline by about $800 billion. apple's apples. is there any sandy -- >> only 2013. >> that is $300 billion. we would have to lower at another $300 billion for comparison. in terms of interest, the base line is $200 billion more in interest expense, correct? that is correct, so we are looking at apples to apples. we totaled about $1.30 trillion that we have to reduce the base line to compare apples to apples, is that correct? >> this gets to the same issue i was talking about. >> apples to apples, if we take $47.20 trillion, the comparable
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baseline in terms of outlays is $45.90 trillion. that is 49.9. is that correct? >> that is the current policy baseline. forou have just adjusted the current policies. >> we pull that out. and then the interest is $200 billion, we pulled that out. >> this has gone a step further. >> that is complicating the situation. it's been $500 billion more than the cbo baseline? >> $47.20 trillion. >> this will be comparable. how much will the german mark? i am trying to compare apples to apples and that is very
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difficult with government accounting. take the base line, pulled out the spending, it is comparable. >> i would go a step further do the sequester. >> you don't have to do that. the comparable figure is $45.90 trillion vs $46.40 trillion. i would say it taxes $1 trillion more. >> i don't agree with that. >> it is actually $500 billion. >> under the current policy baseline and that you are using, yes.
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thethat is not what chairman is using. >> the problem is that we are not talking about the same numbers than. >> the first number you gave me was the base line. >> but we have to adjust that. the base line includes $800 billion more in a war spending, $300 billion more in sandy spending. we will pull that out to make it comparable period >> i know it is confusing, and i am really sorry. thee would talk about sequester with the cbo, wouldn't you? >> that is the point. we put in a different mix of savings. what is relevant here is to get
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to $4.30 trillion. we are already at $3.60 trillion. we still get $4.30 trillion by adding $700 billion. or if you want the chairman to start, you can do that package and you get 190. >> you are totally confusing the situation. that number is totally false. >> we are very clear with how we laid it out. >> it is very technical, i am trying to get to the numbers. >> i don't want this to be erupting into a political debate and we will have time to do that on the floor. senator sessions, i would ask one thing. i like a limit to five minutes to each person so we can get through all of us.
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>> i object to that. the reason we're having difficulty is because this staff is failing to be responsible for the senator's question. senator johnson is exactly correct. he is counting stuff not even in the budget, not relevant to anything other than policy. we are asking the staff specific questions and we expect answers. we are looking at a situation where your double counting and not counting the $1 trillion in extra spending. trilliont counting $1 in extra spending by say we are going to turn off the sequester which allows a trillion dollars more in spending to occur, and not count it. that is what we want to know. and we can find out before this
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day is over. i will accept to being in error if i am wrong about this. but i can't possibly see any other way that i have explained it. >> we have other members that want to ask questions. >> if we can't agree on the $1 trillion, we are showing how the country is in such financial shape. >> i know we have a difference of opinion on this and i want the staff to ask technical questions. i know we will have time to debate this over the coming months, but can we let everybody the five minutes on questions so that we have an opportunity to answer questions. if you disagree, i will have to move this along, or we will not
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be able to -- >> five men at one time or multiple rounds? >> i am fine with multiple rounds, but the more time we do this, the last time we have to adopt for amendments. if we can do this in a reasonable amount of time, there will be a debate following this. >> i missed the beginning of this, and maybe i can get caught up. i would acknowledge that the current law vs. current policy baselines get you into a crazy world. i spent lots of time on assumptions working on bull's simpson, one resumption was
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$1.20 trillion that new revenue and another was $2 trillion in net revenue. and i think the challenge, and i find this all the time in current law verses' current policy, it means that each side picks whenever assumption that there is a need to try could make certain assumptions. i know senator johnson just made certain assumptions from a current policy base line. democrats was the one i believe that was used. i like to get with senator sessions offline to look at -- >> high-value very much because you have deeply been involved this over time, but i believe that it is possible for us to
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agree on what base lines we are talking about? >> i think it is, but i would just add that for example, one of the things that somebody who has may be advocated for more reform, here is where we can get into the apples and apples comparison. we had top line numbers based upon all the bipartisan reforms that have medicare, health care savings somewhere in the college that wanted more. when using those numbers against the baseline, there are a certain number of assumptions. the bass lines that come out have the rise in health-care costs dramatically lowered. we got in the tenth year, medicare savings now built into the new base line of $500 billion. again, we could say that the democrats got -- we have done more based on the baseline. i don't think that is the case, but i would like to get with
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your staff and see. i don't think we have the votes counted, but i would love to hear the argument. the one thing that we ought to be striving at, it is one of the reasons why i think the public has a hard time understanding how these debates back-and-forth. what is our goal with the out year, the only goal that is really the best measurement is what the debt to gdp ratio is. that when you can't fudge that much. i think this gets as close to 70%. congressman ryan got it lower, i don't agree with how we got there, but i think this baseline argument, we can spend hundreds of hours assuming different things. it is one that you can't fudge. i think you'll find that this is not the place for congressman ryan to budget.
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a lot of the same assumptions were baked into all of the previous policy assumptions and the gang of six. i am not sure i have cleared up anything other than the fact that i would love to hear your assumptions. outthat the gdp in the years ought to be a goal that we can agree on. >> i respect all the work you have done. theirhe gdp according to
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budget document remains above 90% throughout this period gross debt, not government that. -- government debt. >> 94% as the gross federal debt. the publicly held debt is 70%. the gross which includes the government's own holdings is 94%. most of that being for social security. >> are you done with your questions? very good. >> we are talking apples to apples. it is just comparing in terms of the numbers. that is the first thing we have to do. >> i did not have a good yesterday so i will have
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clerk pressing the button me. when does the chairman's mark get us to a balanced budget? >> the chairman's mark focuses on having a credible half, one that focuses on jobs and the economy, one that has a credible and irresponsible mix of policies. >> is this coming out of my time? technical after
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questions. it never gets us to balance. >> i am not saying that, it is a 10-year model that we have used. >> based on the trajectory, when you think it would balance? >> i have a 10-year model that i use. what is the deficit in 2023? >> 566. 2.2%. >> how much does the chairman's mark raise taxes? >> relative to the current policy baseline, $975 billion. >> either way you look at it, over $900 billion in additional taxes. >> in additional revenue, yes. >> how much does it raise taxes?
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>> i don't think it raises taxes. the policy is to go after spending. not different from mr. ryan though he would put it toward lowering rates. there is new revenue relative to current policy. >> is it accurate to say that by increasing this revenue, it enables the chairman's mark to engage in higher spending. >> it is part of the balanced approach that we want. 93% of mr. ryan's saving comes from spending. to chairman's mark is two one in spending cuts relative
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to revenue savings. i think it is trying to go for a balanced approach. >> i have to say this. i really am trying to ask technical questions and a balanced approach is a policy debate and a political debate. the final question. yesterday, i have not seen the budget, but i guess that it would grow the size of government by 5% every year on average over 10 years. was i correct? >> i think it was 4.7%. >> thank you very much, i appreciate that. >> ellis trying to follow the
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debate on bass line and making sure i understand the finish point. if the debt held by the public, how does that compare to the very wide range and different views of economists and policy groups? >> they are around 87%. >> the center was asking -- suggesting that we can have significant debates, what our recommendations by different groups? >> they're looking for the 70% target. >> stabilizing the debt and getting it out as the partisan goal. >> does that allow you to see past the significant differences in current law vs. current policy? >> those are just the numbers. >> thank you, madam chair.
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a follow up on the last question. i understand we're talking debt, and the public that we held -- and i don't think that is a bipartisan agreement. i think they were talking gross debt. >> i am at least getting down to 70%. >> what is what we owe to the public today? >> 77%. >> we are close to the target already. >> we bring it down each and every year. it floats by 2023.
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>> there could be a trillion dollar savings that has been achieved, and what is the makeup of that? >> $600 billion in revenue at the end of the der -- and of the year deal. about $300 billion. it would be a combination of the caps and what was done. >> that does not include sequestration? >> that would be on top of it. >> let me shift to another number. when you talk about entitlement cuts included in the proposed budget, and there are
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entitlement cuts proposed, what is the amount of those entitlement cuts? >> left $275 billion in mandatory health cuts. $265 billion in medicare. >> are those numbers included in a reconciliation construction? if would they be achieved they are not? >> proving they can easily cut medicare and medicaid, the chairman's mark continues to believe that we do not need a filibuster proof fast-track authority to get those cuts. >> the tax increases are in reconciliation.
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>> that is right. >> is it true that they are not included in the summary tables? >> they provide the chairman the opportunity to go back later to open the resolution as needed to make adjustments and decide the best way to pay for the policy that is allowed for ha. >> this is getting down into the weeds a little bit but i am concerned about what congress has gotten. it appears to me that this budget is exacerbating the problem. taxress passed a payroll cut. it is a 10. basis. a directive that money to the treasury department rather than allowing it to be utilized from a mortgage system.
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is it accurate that it will direct them rather than protecting the taxpayer is from the mortgage losses? >> it assumes that we extend these for two more years. it is $7.60 billion. >> we want to make sure we get the fees back into paying down the taxpayer. >> maybe we had not put it into the budget. >> i would like to return to the fundamental question. >> i got a letter of the night
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before we voted. we were double calving the medicare with hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the program. the question was asked a different way. it added to the death. -- debt. >> in the government, we can't get agreement in the matters involving hundreds of billions of dollars, trillions of dollars. it seems that you're calling for the elimination of the sequester that can contain spending by $1.10 trillion with interest, and that is not offset by the money you're using to offset it, it can't be used to pay down the deficit. if you use the tax revenue to pay for the increase in spending by eliminating the sequester, you take the numbers
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passed by you. actions occur as you wish them to occur. you're claiming a $1.90 trillion in total deficit reduction. it would appear to me that the $1.10 trillion in sequester would reduce that to about $700 billion. is that correct? relative to current loss.
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your statement suggests that under the current process, you have a plan that we referred to reduce our deficit additionally by $1.85 trillion. i say if you eliminate the sequester, you don't come close to that. >> our current policy is were the 1.85 comes from. we do have a policy for replacing be sequestered. we do it with a mix of revenue and spending savings. >> relative to current law, under your plan, how much deficit reduction would occur? >> if you want to go to a straight cbo baseline, it would be a 1.75. if you want to make the
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adjustment, it is much less. the total is about $700 billion. i think we have been very honest i think we're very clear. i think we've been very honest about that and it depends where you want to compare it to. do you want to do pre-sequester or post-sequester. >> $700 billion, that's the answer, not $1.85 trillion based on current law. what i'm telling you is -- they claim this budget will change the debt course of america by $1.85 trillion. but if you acknowledge the increase in spending that occurs from the sequester elimination, that takes it down to $700. i believe, without question, that we should use close to the president's name on the war,
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that is another $400 billion ly you have added improper to the reduction score. you would reduce your deficit -- your change in the deficit reduction to $-- you're interrupting me, sir. you're interrupting me. > i'm just clarifying. >> our view is based on current law you're only derusing the deficit $300 billion over 10 years -- $30 billion a year, that is not changing the debt course of america. it leaves us on an unsustainable path and i'm disappointed that you're not open in that when i asked it originally. >> senator sessions, i would completely disagree with the analysis you just put out. we worked hard on our budget to
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work on the $2.4 billion that has already occurred to have a smart and pragmatic course over the next couple of years. we have more questions on this side and another one on this side. then we need to move on to amendments. >> this is just to follow-up on the double counting issues. senator sessions, i appreciate your questions. the amount of deficit reduction done this far of $2.4 trillion is a good consensus figure about the deficit reduction done pre-sequester, correct? >> correct. >> if question add in the sequester, $1.2 then we can say we did $3 trillion deficit reduction is that correct? >> correct.
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>> we indicated we were not king credit for the $1.2 trillion deductions. >> so if we added that in and got the $3.6 and then we said, ook, we're saving another $1.8 trillion we would be saving. we did not do that, did we? >> that's correct. with we added the $1.8 trillion to it to arrive to the figure. the fundamental difference is whether you think the sequester should be permanently fact ered in as a good idea and good policy for the country or if you think there should be an alternative to the sequester? >> that's correct. >> because the mark assumes that we should come an alternative we subtracted the sequester out of the current reduction and built a package equally mixed between
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spending and revenue that ultimately gets us to over $4 trillion in deficit reduction. >> correct. >> we're going to go back and forth. >> let me try to come at this a different direction. debt ng to c.c.b.o. the it will equal $26 trillion. do you have a calculation on the chairman's mark on what the gross federal debt will be there? >> 24.3. >> ok, in the $26 trillion, according to c.b.o., they are including what they you don't include? so we adjust that down that you're not including in spending? >> they have, as we talked earlier, they have the war spending and the dollars as their base line. >> so 300 there and another couple of billion dollars in interest again. so we need to take $26 trillion and reduce that by 1.3, correct?
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so t 24.7 and yours is 24.3 that is $400 being in debt reduction over the c.b.o.'s base line. correct? >> relative to your numbers, yes. >> isn't that the bottom line? if you're talking about $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction compared to a comparable base line, shouldn't your debt be less than what the c.b.o. suggested? >> again, we're clear how we get to our policy base line -- >> no. what is included in spending versus what isn't in that debt? we just went through the numbers. c.b.o. starts at $26 trillion in debt, they included in our their figure, $800 billion that will you don't include, they include $300 in sandy that you don't
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include, you have to pull those out, they include $200 in interest spending that you don't. at ends $24.7 trillion versuses your number. you are achieving $400 billion until net additional deficit reduction and you get that by increasing taxes. you get it all by increasing taxes. >> this is a split between spending cuts and taxes. >> regardless, in the deficit reduction is a total fallacy. >> no. >> your budget has $400 billion when you compare the final debt figure. what is a better way to compare it? >> with what o.m.b. does and congressman ryan did two days ago we build a policy base line -- >> you're confusing the issue.
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c.b.o. starts at $26 trillion in debt. they include $800 billion that you don't, they include $200 billion that you don't. theirs $1.3 trillion, and number versus your number. until we can agree on basic numbers how are we going to come to an agreement in terms of policy differences? >> some of those are policy differences. >> they are not. they are numbers spent. ? we do not believe we need the draffer money where it is. we build that out of the base line. the chairman mark also believes while you're getting rid of the $1.2 in the sequester and fully replacing it. it is laid out in writing how we get to this. >> you want to compare apples to oranges. i'm turning these things apples to apples, the debt in 2023
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according to c.b.o.'s bails line their is $27.3 trillion. i would appreciate you stop claiming, that is false. it is false. i'm done. >> senator warner. >> come back to is it not correct, gentleman that some are making certain assumptions on policy base lines. there is a series of accounting that would not pass the mustard in my business or your because. let me -- let me get my say in here. there are assumptions about f.g.r., whether we're going to deal with it or not. there are assumptions across the bored in all of these federal budget base lines that you make
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policy assumptions against. re the assumptions made in the chairman's mark different than what is made in simpson bowles, ang of six, or in the ryan budget? >> no. from the ryan budget, yes, because he does not do the adjustments for the sequester. the others, no. >> i don't think -- so if notion that they are dropped out of the sky a whole new set of apples into this budget versus all the other marks used in the budget debate is not the case. let me -- representfully, i uld want to reiterate what senator kaine had it is a. i think the $2.4 trillion assumption that -- of what we have done is at the high side.
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when i worked on -- i think it is a bit lower than that. but i could imagine the response we would get from our colleagues and from the press if we came in here and said the chairman's mark starts at that we've done $3.6 trillion in deficit reduction and we only have to do $400 billion more to get the mark. we would be laughed out of the room. nobody leaves that but current law would have that assume that. i think it is reasonable to say let's go with what the president, what the press, those of who who are around $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction. we need to get it at at least $1.8, i would argue more to get us in those marks because the $4
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trillion was based on a higher number. i don't think the idea that a whole new set of assumptions were dumped into this budget is fair, right, or reflective of the -- this policy discussions we've been having in the last four years on this topic. >> senator then we're going to wrap up because we have to get to the amendments. >> thank you. i would just say on the base line debate here. it is true we can have different base lines and there is true there is a lot of different consensus on what to make it in the base lines. the fact is we're a budget committee and we're dealing with current law. we can make assumptions but we have to make our assumptions fit what the actual budget and spending law is that we're living under. i think we got to be sure we
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don't lose sight as we make assumptions they have real impacts. as we use different base lines they have real consequences on what is happening in the spending and taxing of this government. having said that, the question i have is related to a point i made yesterday. that is, i served in the house of representatives and now in the senate over a period of time where we've adopted a lot of budgets. we used to do five year budgets most of the time and now was move to 10-year budgets most of the time. as i observed, there are few, if any occasions when congress has ever actually moved into the second year of one of the budgets that it has adopted. because each ore -- until the last few years when we did not adopt budgets. each year congress would go in and adopt a new budget with a
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new first year then the next year it would be another new first year. the outyears are always interesting projections and claims and what we will or should do in hour budget. but they are not the reality. the reality is the first year. so the question that i have is, what happens in the first year of this budget? particularly, do the outlays in the first year of this budget exceed the outlays of last year's budget? if so, how much in dollars and percentage, do we know that? >> are you talking 14 over 13, sir? >> yes. >> by about $116 billion higher.
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>> i don't know if you have atage there but can you give me a rough estimate of that? >> it is about 3%. >> about 3% growth? >> yes, sir. >> in terms of the overall budget -- or deficit reduction that is achieved through taxes or through the spending reductions that are claimed in the budget, what percentage of those is achieved in the first year? in other words, you're talking out $1.85 trillion deficit reduction over 10, how much of that happens in year one? >> there are spending savings in year one but total it is zee yo in the first year because there is spending savings and spending costs. >> i don't understand you. it is zee zee yo in the first first year? in the
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>> on net. >> which confirms my worry. i don't have confidence that we're going to get into year two. but year one achieves zero net deficit reduction. >> i would say that from what we've done there is $150 billion in outlay savings in relative in what we did in the b.c.a. and including the sequester. there are substantial savings that are happening. what we're trying to to do is provide a path knowing we have a 2014 andvings in 2013, going forward to help with the jobs and the economy message. >> but of the deficit reduction in this budget, zero of it happens in year one? >> on net. >> on the first year we put in
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place an economic package to stimulate the economy similar to simpson bowles and other academy groups agreed with to get our economy back on track, correct? >> yes, it includes the stimulus package the -- >> that is the $100 billion? >> correct. >> that is spent in year one? >> no. >> we don't have the specific numbers but we can get those. in the first two fiscal years most of that is layed out. >> most of that new spending is in year one and two. >> i think it is more over the first four years. >> ok, the years one through four. thank you. my point is, there is a new spending program and it is true that simpson bowles and others have recommended that. simpson bowles said we have to get pass the stimulus idea and get through deficit reduction. we're two ways away from that
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recommendation. my point is to show that we need budget enforcement procedures or mechanisms developed by this committee so we can get past year one some day. this budget is not different than any of the other bufpblgts i've seen in congress in this regard. it is the same as they are in we don't achieve the savings we're talking about in year one. if we're not going to do that then we need to have a budget enforcement mechanism to get us into the rest of the budget. >> one quick question. how much of this budget estimate that the economy will grow per year over the next decade? g.d.p. growth. >> it is about -- we're using c.b.o.'s base line unadjusted,
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it is about 5% over the 10 years. >> thank you. >> all right, thank you very uch. >> there are certain things we should be able to agree on and i think we're reaching a point when he said $700 billion. under the current law, we have a projected spending law for the next 10 years. the announcement that has been made in this budget that we would reduce -- we'll have a $1.85 trillion in total deficit reduction is not correct. it, at best is $00 billion. if you take away your exaggerated savings from war costs it is $300 billion. it does not change current law.
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when american peopling hearing this, they are hearing democratic colleagues announce with great pride they are reducing the deficit by $1.85 trillion. and that can only mean off our current path of spending. it can only mean that to anybody hearing it. i'm saying i'm deeply disappointed that it does not do that. it does mom come close to that. -- doesn't come close to that. it does not change the debt course to america and leaving us on an unsustainable path to unbalance the budget. >> i think we have a difference of opinion in the assumptions of this budget. we did not assume in the savings that the sequester was going to go in place. you in your remark are, which means the way this is calculated
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would be different. if we began with the asthalmings the sequester would take place we would not be talking about the $2.4 trillion we would talk trord the lion current path -- toward the current path. we're clear about the $2.4 already enacted. we're adding almost $1.9 trillion to it over the goal since the simpson bowles and the recommendations were made. i think it is a solid plan moving forward. i think it is critical at this time that we get to the amendments. >> thank you for allowing us to express this. i would just say when you make a policy change to remove the sequester, you should score it. the problem is you don't score your policy change. >> we will be debating this far
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while. i think we need to move to amendments and on our side we're going to begin with the most senior member. >> thank you. i'm going to go from global to what i think is an important ssue but a bit more mundane. i wish senator johnson was here, senator johnson and i have worked on portions of. we all have federal employees in our respected states. i believe things is, s fairly outrageous is the o.p.m. has been very slow on . ocessing retirement benefits federal employees are obviously
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under a lot of stress with s, stant threats of shut down questions about changing their retirement benefits. we need to remove one level of stress to say once they retire their benefits that are due should be received in a timely matter. we hear from other states and on tor mccain has joined me this and we see eye to eye on that we ought to decrease the current back log. the back log in 2012 was 2,000 cases. o.p.m. has made progress. e've got it down to 41,000 case. there is still more to be done. the government improvement acts to support improvements at the
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o.p.m. this amendment that i'm offering today is deficit neutral. it creates the tool we use in this body, the deficit neutral reserve fund to improve the federal budget processing. i think this is an amendment that would send a message to federal employees that while we debate their size of the federal government, future changes in their retirement -- but with all those things being debated we need to get common cause those who are retired should get their benefits in a timely matter and not wait months and sometimes years. this will help all-colleagues and i know senator kaine has joined me in supporting this. > is there further debate? >> i just want to voice my
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support for it. if we reduce the back log it reduces the work load. over time it should actually reduce the cost of government. i appreciate senator warner's leadership on this. we have beent add, -- you and i would not be impressed by the volume of the case work. we need to see greater improvement and i appreciate you working with me on this issue. >> i would congratulate senator warner, i think this is a good government reform and i know he has worked with others across the aisle on this and i know you and senator johnson are working on that so thank you. >> i would add my support on that. i think this is an amendment that really calls attention to breakdown in our government service. we have a lot of employees that spend a lifetime dedicated to
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public service and this is a tribute to really looking at a way to solve the problem. i support this amendment as well. thank you, senator johnson and you for your work on this. we will hold a vote shortly after the lunch hour. we'll return to our republicans, which amendment do you want to offer first? >> the balance budget -- is there a number on these amendments? basically, what this amendment would do -- it would not raise taxes, we keep the tax revenue levels as they are today. hopefully, we will have tax reform and simfully case as we go forward. if we keep the levels at the same rate but it will control the growth of spending and maintain the growth of spending each year at 3.4%.
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the net result of that over 10 years would be -- our budget would balance. that is a a good thing and we can increase spending each year at 3.4% and still balance the budget. this would remove the debt cloud er our country that is impacting negatively employment, jobs, wages, and growth. i know there is a question earlier about gross debt and public debt and where we are. the chairman's mark maintains the debt of the united states over the time of the budget. that level, it would reduce growth pretty clearly. the international monetary fund, the bank of international settlements, the european
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central bank have come forward with studies that confirm in a stark way the analysis that has been done the pair and the good work they have dub. they have said is when debt reaches the levels we are today it slows growth now. yes, it does create a risk as secretary geithner told us before the committee. actually, the way the exchange went, i asked him about the udy and he said it is an excellent study and we should pay attention to it. then he added it under states the problem because it does not deal with the risk of a fiscal crisis. he kind of risk that simpson bowles warned us that we're on a path to have.
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the question is, don't we need to take action now to reduce our debt now, the size of our deficit now, and get our debt at a level that it does not adversely impact the economy. different accounting procedures and studies of the central bank and the european bank and the other studies, they treached same conclusion. united states debt is so high that it is already weakening our economy and limiting growth. so what we want to do is not tax and tax and tax the economy more, which weakens the economy. we would like to see the economy grow and throw off more wealth that benefits workers, benefits employees, and actually creates more tax revenue for us. that is the central question that we have. so this amendment, i believe
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moves us in the right direction. it gives us an opportunity to end the deficits. ce we do that, as a percentage of g.d.p. we have will have some growth as projected by c.b.o. thank you. >> well, let me respond on our side and i think we'll have some debate here. to begin with, i think all of us recognize it is a responsibility that we have right now to deal with our debt and deficit in a responsible manner. we all want to achieve that goal. but all of us recognize our economy is fragile right now, we have lived through a lot in the last 10 years. many of our families are still struggling to get back to work to put food on the table to send their kids to college, to pay their mortgage and to stay in
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their homes. the budget we put forward really recognizes the fragilety of that. we all want to get to a better place with our debt and deficit. we had a great deal hoff discussion on the democratic side on how to do that. the package we put forward does it in a credible way without the path the senator's amendment put this on a puts us in a dangerous place where families would be hurt even more than they have been and put us in a place that would be virtually impossible for our country to recover as we're trying to do right now. we believe it needs to be done in a responsible and credible manner. we have worked hard to put together a budget that does that. we think it's irresponsible way so that we don't shred the safety net as the ryan budget does although its reports to
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balance in 10 years but there is questions as to whether or not it does it. we don't believe putting in extreme cuts right now would create in order to achieve the goal would create a stable economy. our families of struggle lot. they don't need to have more turmoil, they don't need to have the safety net pulled out from underneath them. we need to invest in our middle class to make sure our economy is strong in the future. every family understands this. every business understands this. if you want to manage their debt responsibly when you buy a home or buy a car or send your kids to college, we incur debt to do that. incursinesses, when they grow in want them to the future. to put in an arbitrary deadline
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thed affect any budget democratic budget that has been put forward works to find a and do it in a timely to do it. an arbitrary deadline would put an incredible economic challenge and create instability that would unstable is this country. we can do it in a responsible way. that's what our budget does and that's what we need to move for doing. >> thank you. seems to me an amendment that says we should limit the rate of growth to 3.4% a year is not an extreme cut. it's actually not a cut at all. it says we are not going to do
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what families and businesses around this cuts -- it says we're going to continue to grow and allow our our budget to increase. opinion isgure in my a little high. with ouro be dealing federal budget the way families and businesses are dealing with their budgets. i don't know that there are many small or large businesses having budget meetings right now where they are deciding they can't live with 3.4% increases every year. can are looking at how they deal with economic circumstances they're facing. it has been said hundreds of times around here, as we debate the spending policies of the government, that as the simpson- bowles commission said, we need
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to be sure we move into this carefully and that we need a little bit of time to stimulate the economy before we get to the true aggressive deficit reduction. it is true that simpson-bowles did do that. they had a couple of years of slow progress in 2 d $4 trillion plan that they put together. but we are two years down the road from simpson-bowles, and that is when simpson-bowles said we ought to be done with holding back and we ought to get around to getting to the process of controlling our deficit. even beyond simpson-bowles, i remember back, it has been for years now, going on 5, where we did the $800 bill in stimulus package on borrowed money at a time when many of us thought we ought to be controlling our spending then. we argument then was made, do need to do deficit reduction, but not now.
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spend when we need to harder and really push our way through this crisis with more stimulus spending. i disagreed with that then, but that was over four years ago. we did that, and every year since then, as we have increased the spending in the federal budget, the argument has been made, it's not time for restraint. it's time to keep spending. we've got to keep stimulating the economy. ofve got to keep the growth the federal government going, and there will be at day, next year, actually, probably the year after next, that we can get around to may be some deficit control. the bottom line here is, it is time. i will say in closing, this amendment is not extreme. we it does is say that should control the rate of
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growth of our government to 3.4%. we at least ought to be able to put that kind of restraint in place. >> if senator sessions agrees, obviously it will take some time, if we can have two minutes per member back and forth. >> let's try that. >> thank you, madam chair. i want to remind us the good news is, we are on a path on deficit reduction. placew we need to put in over 2.4 trillion dollars. the question is, how do we get to the rest of it? 70% of it has come out of things that affect innovation for the future. it has come out of things like agricultural research, food safety research, things we need to do for the future around innovation and education. the question really is, how do
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we get to the rest of deficit reduction in a way that continues to allow us to grow the economy. are you we are never going to get out of debt with more than 12 million people out of work. we had better be focused on economic growth. then the debate becomes, how do you do that? i would like to really reflect what business would do, because no business just cut its employees, just cut investments in the future, just cut innovation. if they want to be successful, they do a combination of both. right sizing, streamlining things. then if you really want to move, you invest in the next technology, that next innovation. i would argue that is what we are doing and that this is about whether or not we do this in a way that does grow the economy and put people back to work. >> thank you, madam chairman. i would strongly commend ranking member sessions for this amendment. just a little bit of context,
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this is a federal government that has doubled spending in the last 12 years. a slight reduction in the rate of growth in spending is not going to be harmful to our economy. our friends on the other side of raise taxes by $1.80 trillion in the last three years, eliminating the huge additional tax increase that this budget contemplates and the elimination as contained in this would be extremely conducive to growth, and finally, reaching a balanced 10 years from now, is hardly a program. austerity a modest reduction in the rate of growth and spending, coupled with avoiding a massive tax increase and eventually getting some balance, that is extremely conducive to economic growth and will not be harmful to economic growth. you have other reasons for objecting to this, i am sure, but i strongly believe that this kind of approach would be
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too much stronger economic growth and job creation. >> i think we are at the heart of some of our policy differences here. we probably can read different lessons from countries in europe who have taken more aggressive actions. i thought the cameron government in the u.k., when they acted, i thought they were bold. experience has shown that maybe they did move to quickly. what is interesting, all of the bipartisan plans, none of them had this goal of budget balance within 10 years. that is an arbitrary date. . if grand bargain never come into fashion, i have been supportive of what senator
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crapo said earlier, that budget enforcement has to be part of anything. i have not been here as long as he has, but there does seem to be a bipartisan tendency to ignore actions taken in a runoff year. this is where a dozen have policy differences. as an investor in the private sector, you plan to stay ahead of the competition. i think countries do the same thing at a macro level and we just call it education, restructuring, and r&b. the house budget clearly puts us -- would have a federal government that with less than 5% of its revenues on education of its work force and infrastructure. that is not a business plan i would invest in or governor romney would have invested in and i don't think it keeps us competitive in the world economy.
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>> is there further debate? around the break i went wyoming doing listening sessions. i have done town meetings, but these are different. people come up to a microphone and tells me whatever is on their mind that would like me to know, that i heard directly. there was a lot of talk about all these different numbers that we throw around, which is we talked about with these different baselines and stuff. that confuses them terribly. they cannot understand why we just don't take simple numbers and figure out that we are spending more than we are taking in. the biggest, it was, how come you cannot make real cuts? are you do is reduce the amount of increase. someone asked for $100 billion increase in you give them $50 billion increase, that is an increase. how can you do that? instead of 5.3% growth, we would only do 3.4%
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representative. it is not a cut. those people in wyoming would be terribly disappointed in me to think that i would vote for something that allows an increase. i think this is reasonable, and i will vote for it, but it is not a decrease. it is a decrease in the increase in spending. surely we ought to be able to do that so that at some point we can actually get around to doing decreases in spending. then my people will be happy. i think this is a very reasonable amendment. >> any further debate? >> just a brief addition, i also have a listening sessions where i get asked roughly the same point. at some points i have to stand up and say 11,000 americans
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reach age 65 per day. those costs are inevitably rising at a significant rate. we cannot assume there is no background increase in the cost of spending, whether it is critically needed investments to make us competitive, or the cost of the significant programs and the threats we face around the world. the background assumption that there is nothing drive and the cost of government, i sometimes try to push back on. >> the last word from senator sessions. >> i totally agree that nothing would be better for our economy and for the world and all are american people to say well, the united states is on a plan to actually balance the budget and end this reckless spending. i think it would be really great and helped unleash investment and job creation. weple talk about how much have already done in terms of reducing spending, but this budget would eliminate one of
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the biggest parts of it, 60% of the budget control act by wiping out the sequester. spendingd increase dramatically. what we need to do is have a steady plan of growing spending, but at a slow path. we need to wrestle with how to save and strengthen medicare and social security and put them on a sound path. if we just refuse to do that, as this budget does, it does nothing to deal with any of those programs. ton we will never be able handle our situation barely. one more thing, i take very seriously the idea that you should not reduce spending or even the growth of spending at this point in time, but the congressional budget office in their report in february has
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told us if we will reduce spending another $4 trillion over the next year, it would put us on the path basically to balance. tore is option 3 for us consider, growth would be 1.7% higher in the 10th year. remember, they warned us when the stimulus past, they warned us, yes you will get a short- term benefit, but by the time 10 years are over, this economy will have less growth by passing the stimulus than if you had not passed it. i believe we are already at. where the stimulus has passed, the benefits of past, and we are now feeling the interest rate. remember, we are on a path that interest payments in one year, 10 years from now would be $860 billion. our colleagues have talked a lot about infrastructure, roads, and bridges. our budget last year i believe was $40 billion for roads and bridges.
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all kinds of investment of 860 billion. know to my colleagues, i this would require us to do some hard work. we would have to look at all are mandatory programs. if we did that and we pass this budget, there is no doubt in my mind if we stood together the american people would back us, they would support us, they would say hallelujah, even if we had to tell them that some of the things we would like to do, we are not able to do. i urge my colleagues to take this opportunity to put the country on a sound financial path. >> i thank senator sessions. we will have a lot of time to discuss the approach we have put forward in a credible, solid manner to get our country back on track. we will hold that debate and go to the next amendment.
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>> thank you. i have an amendment that would simply call for a deficit neutral budget fund that allows for the implementation of piece of legislation that senator warner introduced after the last election. it has to do with making sure that every american, a republican, democrat, has access to the polls. this is not a mandatory process towards dealing with registration and elections and access to polls. this is a competitive grant program, relatively modest in size in proportion to the scale of the problem that was encountered all over our country after the last elections. the acronym of the law that we introduced was fair, accurate, secure, and timely elections. outs simply a way to carry
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our constitutional responsibility in terms of making sure that federal elections are conducted inappropriate way. there is a new bipartisan commission on voting led by top lawyers that are looking at this. in my view, access is not a partisan issue, it is the foundation of our republic, and i would urge support for this modest, deficit neutral effort to ensure there are resources to take a serious look at incentivizing states voluntarily to deal with are voting issues in the last election. >> center stagliano has been asked to be added as a co- sponsor. is there further debate echo >> i have a question for the author of the amendment. it the way this is -- i see talking points but my
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question is -- the use of the neutral reserve fund creates certainly the possibility that there could be a new and additional tax increase to pay for some spending that would arise from the gold. is that your understanding echo but my intention was that this would be offset not for revenue increase. >> but it does not require that. tax increase would be one way to make revenue neutral. >> that would not be something i would do but it would be technically possible. thiscertainly am open to suggestion. my basic view is that this committee ought not to be in effect authorizing more spending for another program that normally comes up in the judiciary committee, of which i
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am a member. boeing has always been a responsibility of states. we find it a great deal of voter improvements after the dramatic 2000 election. i am not inclined to think at a time when our budget is not balanced and we are spending more than we could, we ought to mandate or authorize more spending that has not gone through the appropriate authorizing committee. for want to thank you offering this amendment. the right to vote is a fundamental right in america that everyone should enjoy and we should make sure that the registration process is transparent and welcoming and i really appreciate your great
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work on this and efforts that you are doing. i believe this can help improve the process and i look forward to working with you on it and ask my colleagues to support it when we vote in a few hours. is there any further debate on this amendment? if not, we will turn to the next member on your side. >> thank you, madam chair. i would like to offer a pretty simple amendment that builds on senator sessions amendment that would require us balancing the budget after the 10th year. it does provide for a waiver or appeal of that point of order on a vote of 3/5 of members. upm my standpoint, picking from senator enzi's point, the american people believe we should be balancing the budget before the 10th year. they expect us to balance the budget immediately. we do have some very significant promises we have made to that we want to do
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everything we can to honor those promises, but that also directs us to doing real reforms of so we can save them for future generations. that is part of the. we have to make. by balancing the budget, i truly believe having come from the private sector, the level of uncertainty that washington is creating for general economy is huge. that really is hampering economic activity. i think having a budget that puts us on a glide path toward balance would improve that, at increase the certainty, reduce the level of uncertainty and
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increased confidence. you really want to balance the budget and bring more revenue -- and i have to make a defense. i think folks on our side want everybody to pay their fair share. athink we also agree that balanced approach to deficit reduction. we have different ideas on how that occurs, but let me make a defense on economic growth toward increased revenue in the federal government. from 2009 to 2012, even with the meager economic growth we have experienced, revenue has increased by 340 four billion dollars per year. if we just return to normal economy like we had in 2007 where revenue generation was 18.5%, that would increase revenue per year by $435 billion. again, per year. the chairman's mark is estimated to raise revenue, closing loopholes and increasing
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taxes, by about $97 billion per year. increased revenue for the year 2014 by $41 billion. economic growth is 10-20 times more effective in increasing tax rates. if you want further proof, and no the vilified bush tax cuts in 2003, we started with revenue $1.70 trillion. within four years, federal revenue had grown by $780 billion. that was with the tax cut. everything we should be doing in washington to be targeting and encouraging economic growth. that is how we get more revenue. that is how we achieve that balance riposte to deficit reduction. balanced -- balanced approach. as center sessions proposed in his amendment, and putting the
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discipline of a budget point of order to provide the confidence for economic growth will help us balance the budget. i certainly hope that my fellow senators will support this very simple amendment. forthwill go back and with 2 minutes on each side. our side does understand the need to deal with debt and deficit. we are very serious about that. but we are also very serious about getting our economy back on track and creating jobs, which is the number one goal in this country today. our budget does a very good job of dealing with both of those very important goals. our budget will exceed the deficit go reduction of four trillion dollars. we do it in a responsible way that does not upset the economy at a very fragile time. that is a very important that we are on and we are very committed to staying on that path. i know we'll have a debate
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about the rise in budget and the intent to get to 0 on whether it is real or not, and we will all be at all to talk about that in the coming weeks and months. the fact is that this economy is fragile. we are working hard to do with their debt and deficit. that is part of it. but we also need to make sure we create jobs and improve our economy so it can have a strong future. to the point of order being offered in this amendment, i think we are all tired of the management by crisis that we have been involved in. haveve not been able to the path where we have a budget that is brought forward in the senate and house and the conclusion that is reached by congress. we create another crisis we have to live for. it will be an insufficient enforcement process and another pathway to just putting us back
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on a crisis mode. i would strongly oppose this amendment and just encourage all of us to get back to the order that we are doing. we are working very hard on our side to get a budget out and move toward a process that gets us to an agreement at the end of the day. beon't think we should throwing in amendments that just create more chaos in the future. i encourage all of my committee members to oppose it. with that, we will do a debate back and forth for a couple of minutes. senator crapo, you wanted to speak, and then senator warner. >> i will be brief. i just want to make the point that i don't think these kind of amendments are making things more complex. we really do need to set the parameters for our budgeting process. i don't have the numbers on the tip of my tongue, but we have grown discretionary spending in
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the last five years by over 25%, if i remember correctly. is a significant amount of growth. just to say that we are going to get on a path is not harmful, it is going to be helpful to the economy. we have achieved $2.40 trillion in savings. something that is an inflated number. we have not achieved that yet. that is a projected number of the next decade of what we have put into place, if we don't break the budget again and again. we have already broken the budget control act and some particulars three or four times since we passed it. ofave no high level confidence that we are going to necessarily achieve that $2.40 trillion number or if it is even accurate number. my point is, we've got to get around to putting some hard controls in place and make sure
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that the savings that we think we have in place are achieved, and make sure that we get to the point of reducing the deficit rather than continuing to say that the economy is fragile and cannot do anything now. >> i agree with senator johnson and i would echo center crapo's. that it will not only lead to growth but to job creation. i think the debate that has been going on for some time has put out markers that said its goal ought to be debt to gdp of about 70% and the deficit ought to be below 3%. on those markers, this budget meet those goals. i am concerned, and just one other comment, i would agree we are on an unsustainable spending path as well. we are also on an unsustainable
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revenue passed in the sense that just as we made mistakes over the last 10 years in starting new spending programs, we made unsustainable revenue cuts. this is a structural budget deficit. i don't think we have hit those marks on either side. i do find -- i agree with senator johnson's general direction but i don't agree that there is anything magic about a 10-year goal. i think that 3% on an annual basis deficit, debt to gdp at 70 or below had been the goals that a lot of us have been working on for a number of years. this budget heads in that direction and putting some like this in place is not the appropriate path. >> is there further debate on
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this amendment? >> i would like to support that amendment very strongly. it does not do anything to the budget committee, but it encourages us to pass a budget to balance. if we can justify not balancing, and we just simply have to gather 60 votes in the senate instead of 50. that is a good incentive for us and puts us on the right path. i know people say we are on a budget and i believe the language we just heard, we believe -- the democrats in serious, substantial spending control plans, and we want to be -- we are on an unsustainable path. thati have to tell you is this budget eviscerates 60% of the budget control act agreement we just made less than two years ago. we agreed to control our
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spending $2.10 trillion over 10 years when we were spending $49 trillion, we were planning to spend that much, and reduce the growth a little bit. and here we are with this budget, supposed to be a budget control spending, it busts the budget on numbers we had under the budget control act, increasing spending. it only reduces deficits of the current path we are on by about $300 billion. maybe four. that is what we are talking about. i think it is clear that we need to create some system that generates some discipline in our process. the question is, do you believe we should have a balanced budget? i certainly believe we can do it with a 3.4% growth each year. thisbudget budget amendment does not mandate it,
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but makes us have as an incentive and a discipline of goal of writing a budget we send to our colleagues that actually balances. it is important. it is not a little amendment. i urge you to support it. >> senators sanders. >> i apologize for being a little bit late. i am assuming that the budget is similar to the right and budget, maybe with a little more extremes. -- to the orion budget -- budget that ends medicare as we know it. somebody who is 67 years of age dealing with cancer would be given a check and try to find a position to take care of her, or go to the hospital. what does this do to medicare, medicaid, and education? >> that response. i think that is a false charge
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being drawn about. ryan's medicare reform preserves medicare for those who want to keep it. the other. i would make in terms of the glide path of 3.4% compound growth rate and spending exceeds the percentage, if you add inflation plus population growth. you can still balance the budget by growing spending at a level that exceeds inflation plus population growth. that is a reasonable way if you are going to look at -- you have to allow for inflation. >> how many children does this throw off of medicaid? the concept in terms of reducing spending in medicaid -- >> it would manage it far more effectively -- >> can you tell me how many children suffer the ignominy
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millions of children would be thrown off of health insurance that go -- health-insurance? medicaid is a fairly efficient health care program. what about headstart and child care? >> we are going to try to have a controlled the debate here. i know it is difficult. >> thank you, madam chair. i will be very brief. just on this point, with respect to medicare, having talked about with my friend from wisconsin. i think all senators know i very strongly about getting a bipartisan approach on medicare. just so we are clear on the history, the paper that was put together in december 2011 was very different than the budget resolution which came from the chair and the house, congressman ryan, just a few months later, and i voted against it.
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we cannot call it yet a bipartisan agreement if the most vulnerable, those on medicaid, really are in effect going to face the kind of suffering that you would see with medicaid block grants. the second major change was the assistance for low-income seniors that was in the paper in 2011 was very different than what was then the ryan budget in the spring. that was another big factor in my voting against it. the paper did not raise the age of eligibility, it protected the affordable care act. i just want my colleagues to know that i continue to be very interested in a bipartisan approach in medicare, but the paper that was put together in december 2011 did not block grants medicate, had a much more generous credit assistance for the low income people.
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in short, it protected the medicare guaranteed. this very explicit approach that protect the most vulnerable. i just want that understood because i suspect we will be coming back to medicare in the course of the morning. >> we do have to boats at 11:25. another republicans have lunch that you need to go to. with the indulgence of the committee, if we could get in two war amendments before the vote -- to more amendments before the vote. >> it allows us to write the budget. it allows us to say how we do it. just has to be balanced and does not direct cuts on any program. >> we will have a lot more discussion on what the word balance means. senator sanders. >> mine in a slightly different than senator johnson's.
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it takes a slightly different approach. it does what i think the american people want us to do, and that is deal with deficit reduction, but deal with it in a way that is fair. what is fair is to understand that right now, corporate profits are at an all-time high. large corporations are doing phenomenally well, while corporate income tax revenue as a percentage of gdp is near a record low. that is a fact. corporations are making huge amounts of money, and yet what they are paying in income tax, about 12% of their profits is the lowest it has been since 1972. furthermore, not a whole lot of people know this, one out of four profitable corporations pay zero taxes.
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so the debate that senator johnson and i have about how you do deficit reduction, what he wants to do is cut, and i believe some of those cuts would be absolutely devastating. what is the poorest way to get it? there are a lot of ways you can get revenue. we could raise taxes on the middle-class working families. i don't think that is a good idea. those people are already hurting. according to the government accountability office, about one out of four large profitable corporations pay nothing in federal income tax. that we give you some examples. citigroup, america, wells fargo, and other large financial institutions needed a bailout, they came to the u.s. congress. they got $750 billion.
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us when we ask them to help with deficit reduction, senator johnson, amazingly enough they are no longer great lovers of america. they forgot the people that bailed them out. and give you a few examples of what is going on in terms of loopholes. let me give you some explicit examples. up2010, bank of america set more than 200 subsidiaries in the cayman islands, which has a corporate tax rate of zero, to avoid paying u.s. taxes. it worked. not only did bank of america pay nothing in federal income taxes, but they received a rebate from the irs worth $1.90 billion that year. how is that eco profitable corporation pays nothing in federal taxes, receives as a rebate $1.90 billion. citigroup, another bank bailed out by the taxpayers of america, has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after establishing 25
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subsidiaries in offshore tax havens and receiving more than $2.50 trillion in total financial assistance from the fed and the treasury department. wells fargo, exxonmobil, chevron, a general election, verizon, honeywell, you name it. the big story in the wall street journal, these guys are putting their money in the cayman islands, bermuda, other tax havens. i had the radical idea that if we deal with deficit reduction, maybe we don't cut social security and benefits to disabled veterans and medicare and medicaid and education. maybe we plug these loopholes and ask these guys to start saying -- start paying their fair share. what we do is create a deficit reduction reserve fund to promote corporate tax fairness, acknowledged this problem, and try to deal with it. madam chair, that is my
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amendment. >> is there further debate customer >> you might be surprised at how much we actually agree. you missed my opening statement. we all want everyone to pay their fair share. we also want more revenue. way you get more revenue is by growing the economy. i would love to wipe out the current tax code and start over with a clean piece of paper with two basic principles. raise the revenue we need, and do no economic harm. >> here is a big difference. i come from the business world. i don't see what good it does to be demonizing individuals that are working extremely hard. small, medium, even large corporations to provide
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products and services we all value. it is not easy to conceive of, produce a product or provide a service at a cost that is less than you can sell to the open public. that is a hard thing to do. that is why so many businesses fail. when we demonize those individuals that are working hard -- >> where did i demonize? >> the point being, the way we raise revenue through economic growth. byincrease federal revenue $344 billion per year. added up over 10 years.
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that is how you gain revenue, by celebrating success, not demonizing it. not having a chip on your shoulder that you people doing some kind of evil thing. they are producing products and services we all value. that is what made this country great. >> i think this makes a great political statement, but it is a little short on how it would be done. i know we don't get into the details of how things are done. that is what we have a finance committee that worked on these sorts of things. the last time that congress dabbled in trying to hit the rich was the alternative minimum tax. everybody in the country is beginning to -- was beginning to have a problem with the alternative minimum tax, so we
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had to do some changes there. when we try to pick on a specific thing, and this sounds like it needs picking on, you've got to be very careful on how you do it. so that we don't have unintended consequences from other companies, particularly start up companies that might be having a problem, that have nothing to do with the cayman islands. everyonly thing that corporation ought to pay a tax, i think every person ought to pay a tax. every person gets the benefit from something in the united states. it might be just a dime, but it ought to be something. >> we know there are limitations to what this bill does. we don't get into all the details. it is not a political issue. use the issue of sales. i don't think it is fair that bank of america, that was bailed out by the taxpayers of this
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country, that makes huge amount of profit, has nothing invested. i would not mind starting from zero in writing. that is not what we are doing. when you talk about a desire for more revenue, this is a reasonable way to go. i think most americans do. the choice we are facing is, some of the -- so many guys want to cut, cut, cut, and hurt working families. in you have some of the largest financial institutions in the world paying nothing in taxes, being quite unpatriotic. this is not demonizing anybody. this is saying -- i am on the veterans committee. we have young men and women who have lost their arms and legs defending america. you have these guys putting their money in the cayman islands, not paying any taxes, and having folks that we've got to cut back on disabled vets. that is what the issue is about. i would hope again have support
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to say no, it is wrong. payinational corporations no taxes, stashing their money in the cayman islands. >> would there be any objection to putting in here profitable corporations to receive the bailout? we should have had more restrictions on those folks at the time we did that. >> if i amended it, would you vote for it? your saying -- if you are prepared to support it, i will make that a minute. x. i am prepared to support it. >> madam chair, i ask that the minute it change to only apply to wall street firms that were bailed out by the taxpayers of the united states. >> what i would suggest is that during the break, you work out language and then offer it up through an amendment. >> we will do that.
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i withdraw the amendment at this time. >> madam chairman, can i address this amendment? >> you could, we want to get another amendment in before the vote that is going to be called a few minutes. >> i will be very quick. >> i think senator enzi was next. >> he just wants to make the point. >> i think what this comes down to, the senator from vermont would acknowledge that we have an income tax, but in some cases he objects to the way we define income. income would consider does not make certain income subject to tax on that income. this goes to the heart of the need to do corporate tax reform. i think there is broad consensus on both sides of the aisle that we need to do corporate tax reform. where we might disagree, i think the consensus includes the
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notion that it should be revenue neutral so we don't put our businesses and workers at a further competitive disadvantage to the one they already have. i would suggest that if this were an effort to have a more sensible corporate tax code, would probably have reduced thereby put our workers and business at a further competitive disadvantage. >> i will allow you to work on your own amendment. >> thank you, madam chairman. i have an amendment that i have been working on for a long time. it kind of culminated with the highway bill. when we did the highway bill, i proposed that we do what simpson-bowles suggested, which was raised the gas tax. i did not have as nearly as big a gas tax increase is what they
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talked about in their proposal, which was 5 cents per year for three years. the highway bill would be totally funded out of user fees, which is what i thought we were supposed to do. i was told that we would not have the vote on those because we do not raise taxes in an election year, and we did not have a vote on that. that bill has a tax increase in it. it has a huge tax increase. thatnt to make sure private pension funds are protected and the pension benefit guaranty corp. needs the revenue so that if a business goes out of business and they promise people a pension, they will get at least 60% of what they were promised. so we raised that tax, but it does not go into the pension. technically goes into the pension benefit guaranty corp. just like the money that goes into social security and everything else. but the revenue, the important
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part, went to highways, 14 years, to build two years' worth of highways. i don't think that is the kind of budget and that we want to do. i wanted to reinstitute the pay-go where the revenues have to match up with these vintage we are making. still out years, you don't have to match up, but in the first year, we ought to lease seven offset that takes care of the first year's worth of expenditures. that is all that this does. it is just a good accounting principle that we ought to have when talking about revenues. we cannot spend money we are not going to get 14 years. really don't agree with what is in the budget amendment after the first year anyway. so we are kind of lying about how we are going to pay for different things, and just adding it to the deficit rather than actually doing it. >> is there further debate?
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>> madam chair, senator enzi is reinstating the first year pay- protest that existed when we first balance the budget. -- pay-go proposal that existed when we first balanced the budget. >> i will take a few minutes to review it while we are doing the votes and have a chance to chat with you between now and then. is there anybody else that we like to comment on this at this time? >> i just want to make sure i understanding that the first year, used as an example the pension fund, and i share a concern about the pension fund. we have done a lot of looking at help -- various health cuts
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as we have looked at various things. are you suggesting that if there was a reduction or a change in a payment on health care, it would have to go back into health? i am not sure exactly what you are suggesting. >> this just applies to when we are finding offsets to do primarily new programs or new projects. the offset has to have enough revenue in the first year to cover the expenditure in that first year. >> you are not looking at the top of forgoes but more the amount of money. >> right. >> there will be two votes that will be called shortly. i would really like to get two more members then that we can put in to vote on after lunch. if we could do those now, i
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think that would be great. then we will not have to come back between votes. i am going to move to my side to offer another amendment. >> thank you, madam chair. this is an amendment that provides a deficit neutral reserve on from improving federal forest management. essentially we have those of us who have a lot of concern about second growth forest that are wonderful for -- essentially forest fires of last summer reinforced this. there is a potential for legislation that might help address work force management and this creates a reserve fund for that purpose. >> is there further debate? that we just said thank you for
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offering this amendment. as someone who shares your concern about the forest service management, the ability to have the funds they need, it is often very challenging when we have a very severe forest fire here and we need to make sure that we have adequate support for that. i hope our colleagues will support this amendment. if there is no further debate from either side, we will put that in the stack to vote on after the luncheon. >> i believe senator enzi is next. >> i have an amendment where i am trying to encourage everybody to see that when we do tax reform that it is done in a bipartisan way. i have been working with the senators, and the tax code is extremely complicated. i think we have all figured that out by this time. it is bigger than the bible, and there are always intricacies
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in there, including loopholes, tax expenditures, subsidies. when we did then, we called them incentives, but they are all very complicated and interconnected. we not only had the corporate tax, but we had the individual tax. if your an individual running a business or a partnership running a business or a small business corporation, you get taxed under the individual code rather than a corporate code. we need to do both of those at the same time if we are going to be fair to everybody. a is going to take more than limited time of debate and a limited number of amendments, and that is what would happen under reconciliation. i hope we will not do it under reconciliation. this is an amendment that would stop it from being done under reconciliation, and hopefully
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stop creating separate crises that can crescendo in the debate up to a certain point, which would be when we have the reconciliation debate. it would stop the deal making in start legislating. we ought to get started on that right away because it is so complicated. several of us have been involved in that for a long time and i just don't see it fitting in with a reconciliation package. so that is what this amendment does. >> i would oppose this amendment and i asked my colleagues to oppose it. we have put together a very thoughtful, important package to reduce our deficit in a responsible way, similar to the simpson-bowles, a gang of six, the manager rivlin, making sure we have a balanced package of both revenue and spending cuts. is cleared the one who has watched congress over the last years knows that we are pretty good at cutting funds, but not
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good at having a balanced package in terms of raising the funds we need to make sure the american public is aware of how we are balancing our package in a fair way. the cuts that we see go right after the middle class. we have seen that time and time again. thatnt to make sure everyone in america, the wealthy included, participate in dealing with the budget deficit challahs that we have in front of us. -- the budget deficit that we have in front of us. i would oppose this amendment. has the vote been called? we have time for further debate and we will go back and forth. who on this side wants to be recognized? >> i support the amendment, but i just learned to make the point, you reference the fact that simpson-bowles and the gang of six also had an approach to achieving revenue objective
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their plans, but the key is that that revenue objective was part of a bigger package that had been negotiated, a package that is not included in this budget. onlymatter of fact, the recommendation -- reconciliation in the budget is this one, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> is also not in the form or in the structure that many of us who were partners of the negotiations worked out. my point is, what this does is, it puts one piece of the negotiations that we need to achieve to have a grand bargain come together in a reconciliation instruction, but leaves the other ones out. thisarly, with regard to tax reform, that simply
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addresses the revenue-raising portion of it. does not address the reform of the tax code. there is much more that needs to be done here. if we are going to move into the revenue component, the grand bargain needs to come together. what the budget does is throw a huge wet blanket on the ability of republicans and democrats in the senate to come together and put together a kind of approach that we need to resolve our fiscal crisis. >> a number of us on this committee are also on the finance committee. and hoping foron that grand bargain in every area. i guess i look at it a little bit different in terms of this language. theess i would agree with senator. if we were trying to truly look
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at everything in tax reform, from reconciliation, it's tough to do because reconciliation is just about numbers. but to do with deficit reduction, we need to look at spending in the tax code, making sure that those that need top are contributing their fair share, as well as spending reductions that give families more and vulnerable families. we can still do tax reform, which to me is a broader set of issues on reform negative economic competitiveness globally on a whole range of things. also, i think it is tough to look at medicare or social security in the context of reconciliation. again, because it's policy. as we try to do tax reform, it's tough to do that in the context of just the numbers debate. so i support the reconciliation
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instruction. there are two pieces that are very important. when we talk about spending, we have spending in the tax code that does not make sense anymore, just like we need to have a discussion on spending on the outlay side in terms of the domestic spending. then we have to have a broader debate on tax reform and the grand bargain that i think has to be done by definition outside of reconciliation. >> is there further debate? i would just like to suggest and thank my democratic colleagues who have ethically sincere reasons for supporting the budget they have here. but i don't see how any similarity to bowles simpson could be among those reasons. it explicitly calls for profound reform of entitlements. this budget does not do anything of the sort. and volz simpson calls for a tax -- volz simpson calls for
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and bowles simpson calls for major tax reform. >> thank you, madam chair. there is certainly similarity that there was called for the deductions and credits and various strategies to bypass the ocean of revenue -- the question of revenue. we've talked about 30 companies that make about $70 billion in net revenues that don't pay a cent in taxes. that type of spending through credits and reductions have grown conservative. the powerful in this country want their projects to be funded through the tax code. unlike appropriations, they are
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not examined every year. that is a very clever strategy and it puts them in a different class than working people. .ut it's unacceptable the actual language that is in the reconciliation instructions refers to the level of revenues, but the explanatory instructions in the back talk specifically about addressing this unfairness in the tax code, this spending program in the tax code that should be examined as thoroughly as any other program and should continue to serve the interest of the most powerful. it really does do a grave injustice to building successful families across this country and successful communities. i certainly think that this particular amendment would be a mistake. >> is there further debate?